Orion's March 2015 eNewsletter

Martha, Orion Office Skills / Customer Service Program Graduate.


Martha Ahmed started at Orion in our clerical / computer training program. She had previously been a school bus driver, but health issues required a career change. 


After completing her classroom training in Orion's Office Skills / Customer Service program, she was offered an opportunity to work in Orion's Contact Center, and received training for a highly demanding account. Martha was able to consistently meet performance goals and benefitted from having a mentor providing ongoing feedback and encouragement.


In December, Martha received a great present: a job. She is working as a phone dispatcher for buses. Her bus driving experience and her contact center training made her the perfect candidate.


Martha will soon complete her first three months on the job. When asked about Martha's performance, her supervisor remarked, "She is doing well and always is willing to pick up extra shifts. We are looking forward to providing Martha with some advanced training in dispatching." 


Martha has obtained a doctor's release to have her driver's license re-instated; her husband has also found employment and her children have adjusted to Martha's work schedule. 


Martha told her job developer, Erin Colwell, how much her life has changed for the better since she started with Orion.   



Tyler at work in the Orion Planning Department.

Tyler started at Orion in July 2014. He attended and graduated from Tahoma High School and is currently living in Kent.


Tyler trained in clamp block assembly, grommet assembly and in shipping and receiving, before spending eight weeks in the planning department. 


Tyler really enjoyed his time in the planning department, where he learned the importance of focus and attention to detail. Tyler said, "You learn to look at the small things."  


Because planning demanded his focus to such an extent, Tyler feels he now brings more focus to his job on the floor.


Tyler has a strong interest in working with computers, and has built two of his own at home. Tyler's dream job is to one day work in IT or computer repair, but now is looking for an entry level production job in manufacturing. 


Orion has helped him mature from a student into an employee. Tyler said, "School does not really prepare you for work life, but Orion does." 


If you are interested in learning more about Tyler and his skills, please feel free to contact Cathy Wegner by phone at (253) 661-7805 ext. 209 or cathy.wegner@orionworks.org.


Program tours are available!

Orion currently has openings available in all of our training programs:
  • Our Manufacturing Training Program offers full time or part time paid training Monday - Friday. Participants can come for a variety of reasons including assessment or skills training. Enrollment occurs weekly.

2014 Results: We helped 77 individuals into jobs during 2014 through this program with an average wage of $11.96/hour! The average hours worked per week were 39, and almost all jobs included benefits!


If you are working with someone who would benefit from this training program, please have them attend our weekly tour - Tuesday at 1pm!

  • Our Office Skills & Customer Service Program offers students exposure to computer training, customer service training and keyboarding / 10-key skills training. It utilizes a self-directed model, in a small classroom setting, with instructor support. Each Friday, interactive group customer service discussions are led by the instructor. Students are offered a daily stipend of $10 for class attendance.
  • Our Contact Center Training Program offers three paid training opportunities: Inbound Customer Service, Front Desk / Reception and Document Conversion training. Participants can come for a variety of reasons including assessment or skills training. While some programs offer cohort enrollment, most positions enroll weekly. Pretesting may be a requirement and will be coordinated during program tour.
  • During 2014, we helped 20 individuals from our Office Skills & Customer Service and Contact Center programs into jobs, with an average wage of $13.56/hour. The average hours worked per week were over 34 and all full time jobs included benefits.

If you are working with someone who would benefit from the Office Skills & Customer Service or Contact Center Training Programs, please have them attend our weekly tour - Wednesday at 1pm (NEW time for Contact Center tour)!

Orion has multiple open spots for direct job placement support services to individuals not in our training programs. If you are interested in direct job placement services, please contact a Job Developer at (253) 661-7805.

Orion provides real world training!

Orion provides real world training to all participants in our training programs. If a participant is interested in learning skills in an area where we currently don't offer training, we work hard to create and customize a program to meet their interests and needs. We are equally receptive if an employer brings an opportunity for a new type of skill training to our attention. 


This was the case with the Planning Department. In 2014, we created a training position in this department, with specific emphasis on commercial work order printing. Its creation was largely client driven - a participant was very interested in learning the behind the scenes processes of manufacturing. Participants in the area are taught terminology and how to navigate through computer folders, drives, and documents, while paying special attention to and verifying information on work orders. 


Tyler, whose story is highlighted above, had an opportunity to train in this work area and stated he gained valuable job readiness and technical skills that will help him with his future job search. 


If you see a training opportunity at Orion, please contact Orion's Training Program Manager at (253) 661-7805.

Romp to Stomp

Orion staff at the Romp to Stomp finish line: from left to right, Tricia Cleavelin, Cathy Wegner, Barb Panush and Kathy Powers.

Members of Orion's Training & Employment Division participated in a snowshoe event at the Romp to Stomp, at Stevens Pass, on February 7th, 2015. The event supports the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The Orion team endured the rain, and smiled through the event despite the lack of snow!

Learn more about the Romp to Stomp by visiting their website:

14th Annual PNAA Conference

Pictured left to right: John Theisen, Orion Industries President and CEO, Sean Dwyer, Orion Aerospace Business Development Manager, Joanna Boatwright, Orion Aerospace Sales Associate, Tom Brosius, Orion Aerospace Vice President and General Manager, and J.C. Hall, Chairman of Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA). Photo courtesy of Carl Murray, Seattle Photography Inc.

On February 11th, 2015, Orion was able to participate in Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance's (PNAA) 14th Annual Aerospace Conference both as a corporate sponsor, and as a sponsor to the Karl Fagan Memorial Scholarship program. The scholarships are awarded annually to students at the university level who are pursuing an aerospace education. This scholarship was awarded to a student at Green River Community College's Air Traffic Control Program. Orion is proud to be a contributor to the growth and development of Washington's young, up and coming aerospace workforce. For more information about PNAA visit their website: 

Enumclaw Schools Foundation STEM Expo

Orion staff member Jim Eby and Tonia Eby at the Enumclaw Schools Foundation STEM Expo. Photo courtesy of Jason Person.

Orion participated in the 3rd Enumclaw Schools Foundation STEM Expo held on February 12th, 2015. The expo showcased several career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for students in the Enumclaw School District. 

The goal of the expo is to get students excited about the possible career paths available in the fields of  science, technology, engineering and math.

To see a short video created for the event, please follow the link below:

For more information about the Enumclaw Schools Foundation visit their website: 

Auburn Youth Resources breakfast

Orion staff at the Auburn Youth Resources breakfast: from left to right, Tricia Cleavelin, John Theisen, Jeff Black, Dustin Nicholson, Barb Panush, and Sarah Bowles.

Staff members from Orion's administrative, and training & employment teams attended the Auburn Youth Resources (AYR)  breakfast on February 13th. AYR is a great resource for youth in South King County providing crisis intervention, housing, counseling, treatment and a variety of other supports. Orion has been proud to partner with AYR to provide manufacturing training to older youth from their programs. Check them out:


Orion links
Click on the links below to visit Orion's division websites:     
Orion Industries
1590 A St Northeast
Auburn, Washington 98002